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  • Published in Arts Review
Neneh Cherry

Neneh Cherry. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A film that draws a powerful link between a city and its inhabitants, writes Tom Griffiths

Mark Cousins, best known as the creator of The Story of Film: An Odyssey and his column in Sight & Sound, is now establishing himself as an auteur in his own right.

I Am Belfast, a heartfelt homage to the city he grew up in, established the film-maker’s ongoing passion for the “city film” and, with Stockholm My Love, he continues on this path.

A feature that comes across more like a documentary, it stars musician Neneh Cherry as Alva, an architect coming to terms with her accidental killing of an old man while driving.

It takes the form of dialogues with her father, the deceased man and then with the city of Stockholm itself, starting on a grey day when shame and depression weigh heavily and concluding when the light breaks through overcast skies and Alva starts to heal.

Shot by DP Christopher Doyle and featuring new music from Cherry, the film is above all a meditation on the architecture and quality of light in a city that changes before our eyes as Alva’s mood shifts from despair to happiness.

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